My wife and I made the mistake of going for dinner at dinner time on Monday, June 9, 2014, without a reservation. Since Monday is typically one of the slower days for restaurants and it was that busy anyway, I would suggest that you call ahead if you want to have dinner at Tidal Raves on any day. As it was, she and I had to wait only about a half-hour or so for a table. We spent some of the time wandering along the fence in front to see the rock formations along the edge toward the sea.
My first concern about the place would be that all the windows on the sea half of the building are bare and face west. At dinner time, as you might guess, the sun beats down and makes the lower gallery, as I’ll call it, quite uncomfortable, both for the unfiltered sunlight and for the heat. The upper gallery might have had similar trouble with reflections off the water below and off the lower gallery tables, but we didn’t sit up there, so I can only guess about that. During lunch, I doubt they have an issue with sunlight in the dining areas.
Our table was on the north end of the lower gallery. My wife sat on a chair with her back to the sea and sun on that side of the table, but I sat on the bench along the wall facing west. I kept adjusting myself along the bench opposite the sun as it went lower so I could sit mostly in the narrow shadow afforded by the southwest support for the building. Since we sat just across from the tables next to the windows, we still had a good view of the seascape beyond.
My wife said her deep-fried shrimp and fish were excellent and the fries were about average for a fish place. I liked my garlic sautéed shrimp. They were a good size, cooked right (not mushy and not rubbery, either), and flavorful.
Our desserts left both of us with a lot to be desired. My wife loves tiramisu from a certain Italian restaurant chain. While the Tidal Raves rendition wasn’t the worst she’d had, and was tolerable as a dessert, it didn’t stand up in comparison to her favorite tiramisu.
My Key Lime pie was also a disappointment. I wondered if it was supposed have a citrus taste to it. I thought so. My wife couldn’t taste much citrus, either, when she tried a small bite of it. It was tolerable as a dessert, but I won’t bother with that again.
Our waitress seemed nice enough to start. She graciously let us have more time to decide on our choices. She seemed attentive and almost cheerful during most our meal as she’d check back to see how things were going and to get our dessert choices, too. When she brought our check, though, she dropped it (not just set it) onto the table without a word and briskly turned and walked away. That seemed to both of us to be quite a turn of attitude. My wife, upon reflection this afternoon, called it “distracted in a grumpy way,” and then she corrected that by telling me that I could say that our waitress had thrown the check down “abruptly.”
Before we left the table at the restaurant, my wife and I had quietly discussed the waitress briefly and tried to understand what had caused the turn. We quickly dismissed the thought that she might be pissed at us for some reason. Ultimately, we decided that she must have been upset about something else. All we could do is speculate about what it could have been. In any case, I believe that such action is unprofessional. It colors and nullifies all other positive interaction through the meal. We did not deserve to witness that action and we did not deserve to be treated so rudely, even if it was intended for someone else and in the wake of some other issue.
We did have to spend more at Tidal Raves than we usually do for meals out, even for special occasions, but this was our main splurge for our week-long visit to the Oregon coast. The food was pretty good. My wife has said that when we go back on another vacation to Depoe Bay, she would go back to Tidal Raves for the food, but not for the dessert, even though the food is a bit pricey. I will gladly search elsewhere for other dining options in the area. However, if my wife wants to go to Tidal Raves, specifically, on one of our trips, I would go again and I would also enjoy a meal sans dessert.
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